Film Review: I’m Your Woman
Director: Julia Hart
Cast: Rachel Brosnahan, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Arinzé Kene, Frankie Faison, Marcelline Hugot, De’Mauri Parks, James McMenamin, Bill Heck, Jarrod DiGiorgi
Running Time: 120
Australian Distributor: Amazon Prime
I’m Your Woman, directed by Julia Hart and starring Rachel Brosnahan, owes its influence to the 1970s classic crime dramas. Here’s the thing about the classic crime dramas: they were told from a man’s point of view. What Julia Hart and Jordan Horowitz do with their script is change up the genre. Surburban housewife Jean (Rachel Brosnahan) is front and centre in this throwback thriller. You know it’s a throwback as soon as you see an old-school television set and landline telephones.
Jean’s life changes the very moment her thief husband, Eddie (Bill Heck), betrays his partners. The next thing you know, someone is knocking on the door and Jean is forced to leave the house. Eddie’s friend, Cal (Arinzé Kene), accompanies Jean and her baby, Harry, in the hope of keeping them out of harm’s way. There’s a moment in the film when they’re sleeping in the war and a cop knocks on the window.
Even when Cal gets Jean and Harry to a safe house, they’re never quite out of the woods. There’s the overly-prying neighbour, Evelyn (Marceline Hugot), who is a bit too friendly. But before Jean can settle down, trouble comes knocking and it’s off to a cabin in the middle of nowhere.
But then Cal disappears before his wife, Teri (Marsha Stephanie Blake), and dad (Frankie Faison) enters the picture. The cabin is very crowded with everyone including Cal and Teri’s son, Paul (Da’Mauri Parks).
From here, we get into the nitty gritty of the crime thriller from another point of view. Teri has her own agenda now that Cal is missing. Where is he? Teri knows Eddie and Cal’s world more so than Jean. Meanwhile, Jean still has no idea what has happened to Eddie. Is he alive or dead?
Behind the camera, Hart has a clear grasp of what she wants in terms of direction. Co-writing the script with husband Jordan Horowitz, Hart makes a film that filmmakers just didn’t make back in the day.
Visually, the film offers a 1970s vibe without necessarily filming in such a manner. In subverting the genre, Hart brings about representation on screen. Who are these women? Through the script, we’re able to get into Jean’s head while she’s on the run.
The result is an amazing performance from the Emmy-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel actress, Rachel Brosnahan. The film also marks Brosnahan’s first producing credit on a feature. There may be just the smallest hint of Midge Maisel in the film. However, Jean is as far as it gets from the New York comedienne. The actress is in full control of her vulnerable character.
I’m Your Woman offers a new and thrilling take on the crime drama with women front and centre.
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